Noor, Namira, Omera, Proma, Nefertiti, Female Ghost
SCENE ONE INT. NAMIRA’S BEDROOM. EARLY NIGHT
OMERA : (SCREAMING) What the hell are you doing, Namira? Please don your cloth properly. Don’t strip off your cloth-my child. You are already eighteen. I’m your mom.
NAMIRA : (DANCING VIGOROUSLY AND SCREAMING) This is not my place. I shall have to go to the grave yard. A shroud will be my garment. I won’t put on these clothes any more. Please let me go to my place.
SFX: OMERA SLAMS THE DOOR OF NAMIRA’S BEDROOM.
OMERA : (SCREAMING) Listen, Namira! I’ll fasten your hands with a rope if you don’t calm down baby. (REQUESTING) Please cool down, Namira. What happened to you my baby? (PRAYING TO GOD) Oh God, save me please.
SFX: NAMIRA THROWS A METAL VASE TO THE MIRROR OF THE DRESSING TABLE IN HER ROOM AND TUSSLes WITH HER MOM
NAMIRA : (SCREAMING) I will cut my hand with this broken glass pieces. (Cutting her hand and GROANING) Uhh! Nooo! I will eat all this evil blood.
OMERA: (ALOUD) Oh God, My baby has gone mad. She has cut herself. (CALLING OUT) Jerin, give me a bandage and the antiseptic bottle. (GRUMBLING OUT) The stupid father has gone to see her old mother leaving us alone at this winter night. Here, his daughter is making my life a hell. A hell raiser girl! (REQUESTING TO NAMIRA) Please put on your dress. I can see your nude body no more. I’m your mom.
NAMIRA: (Dancing vigorously and hoarsely) you’re not my mom. I’ve no mom, Mrs. Omera. I want to go to the cemetery.
OMERA: Which cemetery?
NAMIRA: From where I came from. Mrs. Omera!
SFX NAMIRA THROWS AN EMPTY STEEL JUG AND A GLASS TO THE DOOR
NAMIRA hey, lady open the door or I’ll crash your everything.(DEEP throaty bellY-laugh)
SCENE TWO INT. OMERA’S LIVING ROOM. EARLY NIGHT
SFX: OMERA fastenS NAMIRA’s handS with A ROPE with the help of the maid servant JERIN and makES a phone call. TELEPHONE RINGS.
PROMA: (PICKS UP THE HAND SET) Haylo.
OMERA: Hello, It is me, Omera. Sister Proma, I’m in great trouble. Perhaps you don’t know Namira’s father is not in house now. The rascal has gone to visit his old mother in the evening. He will stay there tonight. Here Namira is making my life a hell. Perhaps, she has gone mad. She is breaking everything into pieces whatever she is getting near her. She has become so desperate that she has already cut her hands with a broken piece of glasses. And she is saying she will eat blood. It is a matter of shame that she has been stripping off her clothes and saying that she will wear a shroud and she needs ashes. She is saying that this is not her house and she will go to grave yard. I have confined her in her bed room fastening her with a rope. She is tussling with Jerin to untie herself. A worrying matter is that she is talking in different voices at different times. What can I do now sister Proma? Please help me, please!
PROMA: Let me ponder over the matter. What you said, Omera that she is talking in different voices. Perhaps she is suffering from hysteria .At this age girls may go into hysterics you know. Don’t worry, Omera. Is there any sleeping pill in the house? Otherwise I can send some pills by someone. Give her one tab; I hope everything will be okay by morning if she has a sound sleep.
OMERA: Oh, yea there is perhaps sleeping pill in Namira’s father’s medicine box. I have seen him to take bromazepam off and on when he becomes impatient for sleeping at night. (BIG YAWN) Actually how awful a sleepless night is! Especially as the Creator has created night for us to take rest and sleep certainly. But sister Proma I don’t think so that sleeping pill will work out. I suppose she is suffering from other thing. Today she came back to house at late night perhaps at about 9 pm. Generally she never stays out of house after sun set.
PROMA: (SURPRISEDLY) Wow, Omera, you’re calling 9 pm a late night.
OMERA: Sister Proma, perhaps, you have forgotten (PAUSE) now is the winter season. Moreover, I don’t like teenage girls’ staying out of house after dusk. You are lucky that you don’t have a daughter, Sister Proma. You won’t understand the vexation of being parents of a daughter.
PROMA: Still you’re a back-number I see! On the contrary, I envy you that you have a daughter. Girls are like lakshmi the guardian goddess of a house. They are the ornaments of a family. They always take care of their old parents even after their marriages also. Look! I have got four sons in the desire of having a baby girl. My sons go out in the morning. When they will return home after finishing their school, college and university they know only. They don’t even care our rebukes too.
OMERA: (NERVOUSLY) Please leave this chatting. I’m afraid of Namira. Please do something for her.
PROMA: (CONCERNED) Sorry, Omera, beg your pardon. Let me try to get the connection of Dr. Tamanna. What suggestion she gives, I’ll let you know. Don’t worry everything will be fine soon.
OMERA: Please do everything as early as possible, sister Proma.
SCENE THREE INT. PROMA’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT
SFX: PROMA MAKES A PHONE CALL TO DR. TAMANNA.TELEPHONE RINGS
PROMA: Oh, she is not picking the receiver.
SFX: PROMA RINGS DR. TAMANNA AGAIN. TELEPHONE KEEPS RINGING
PROMA: (ANNOYEDLY) Oh no, she is not picking her phone. Now a days doctors don’t think that they are at emergency service. Very disappointing that even the family doctors also don’t think so. (Dialling the number again NINE SIX SEVEN TWO ZERO SIX EIGHT) (ALOUD) Oh shit! The phone is not ringing now instead giving busy tone. Perhaps she has kept the receiver as picked up so that nobody can reach her. At least she should have kept the message option so that the poor patients could put their message for the morning. (GRUMBLING OUT) How many times I said to Riza that don’t appoint a young lady doctor. Anyway, Dr. Tamanna has been most sincere than any other doctors I have visited till now. (SoliloquISING) Oh, I have forgotten, she has just got married. Now she is not alone. Perhaps the mate is fucking her. Oh! The bullshit should understand that she is a doctor. What shall I tell Omera now?
SFX: PROMA MAKES A PHONE CALL TO OMERA.TELEPHONE RINGS
OMERA: (PICKS UP THE RECEIVER) Hello!
PROMA: Oh, hai, Omera, sorry I didn’t get the line of Dr.Tamanna. She is not picking her phone receiver. Perhaps, she is attending her bullshit husband as it is about midnight. You know she has got married a few days before. (ANXIOUSLY) Now at this stage I guess it is better to give her a sleeping pill anyway. Hope everything will be okay by the morning. If you want I can come to your place. This is what I can do for Namira right this moment.
OMERA: You needn’t do so. You’re sick I know. Moreover you have perhaps guests at home. I remember that you said yesterday that your brother in law brother Noor would come to your house as a halt of his official tour. He is a very good man I know. Whenever I got the opportunity to chat with him he seemed to me very different and sensible.
PROMA: Oh yea, Omera, he had come to my house in the afternoon after finishing his official work. I was very busy in the evening by cooking some special dishes for him. He has just gone for sleeping. Before your phone call we were chatting. You know he whenever comes to our house tells us very juicy stories about ghosts. Really he has moral courage. He is never wavered by any odd situations.
OMERA: How is he?
SFX: NAMIRA DROPS TEA TRAY THAT CLATTERED TO THE FLOOR.
OMERA: Perhaps, Namira has unfastened her. I’m hearing sound of her breaking program. I am hanging up, sister Proma.
SFX: DOOR BELL OF PROMA’S HOUSE RINGS
SCENE FOUR INT. PROMA’S LIVING ROOM. MID NIGHT
PROMA: (ALOUD) Oh, hi, Coming. Who is there at this midnight?
OMERA: (ALOUD) It is your younger sister, the unfortunate Omera. I have to come out from house at this dark misty night as Jerin doesn’t dare to go out because of the ghost Phobia.
SFX: PROMA openS THE DOOR and CLOSES IT
PROMA: (NERVOUSLY) What has happened to Namira. Could you give her sleeping pill?
OMERA: Not yet.
PROMA: I told you several times. You’re not caring my words, perhaps. We have no other alternative right this moment except sleeping pill.
OMERA: I’ve come here being failed in my attempt to make her taking the sleeping pill. She became so violent that she was not hesitant to kick me even. She is claiming that I’m not her mother. She was spitting on me. Oh no, I cannot bear all this, sister Proma. Now she is completely nude. I have come here padlocking the door from outside. Only God knows what the hell she is doing at home by this time I return to house. Sister Proma, you’ll not understand if you don’t see everything in your own eyes.
PROMA: Okay, Omera, let’s go and see what the hell she is doing.
OMERA: Let’s move, sister Proma!
SFX: PROMA OPENS THE FRONT DOOR AND LOCKS IT BY KEYS.
SCENE FIVE INT. NAMEER’S BEDROOM MID NIGHT.
PROMA: (WALKING TO NAMIRA) How are you, my princess?
NAMIRA: (Giving a throaty belly-laugh) hi, Mrs. Proma, you think you are very clever. Who is your princess? I won’t be your tall son’s wife. I have a mate already. I don’t know you. I don’t know Omera also. She’s not my mom. I have no mummy. You don’t know me too. I’m none of yours. You two sisters have made my life a hell. I’ll not spare you if you don’t let me go to the grave yard and let me drape myself with a winding sheet and give me ashes.
PROMA: (SURPRISEDLY TO OMERA) Oh no, am I awake or having a nightmare. Oh God, what I am watching here. The girl who was so conservative in her dressing is totally nude now. Thank God, I didn’t bring my any son here. What they would have felt seeing this lusty nude body of their cousin.
OMERA: Perhaps that would have been better. I guess at least she would have blushed in shame for her action.
PROMA: Don’t think so in dream also. Children of the present time are not that much good. Especially mine are all imps, I doubt.
OMERA: Sister Proma, you doubt everybody whether good or bad. Please come out of this bad habit. Your sons (PAUSE) all are jewels, I believe.
PROMA: Leave all this gossip. Actually we women talk too much. Now come to the point. I think I can inform Brother Noor. He is the best suited for this odd situation. So far I know he has solved so many such problems. Moreover, if it is a ghost case, then nothing to worry about! (Confidently) Consider that the problem is solved. But the problem is that he has perhaps slept by this time because I found him exhausted when he was taking his dinner as he had to make a journey of long distance and then attended the meeting at office. Of course he won’t mind as he finds pleasure helping others – a philanthropist. Moreover, tomorrow is a holiday. So no problem he will be able to sleep till late morning.
OMERA: But sister Proma, what will he think? Moreover, Namira is completely nude. I’m feeling shame by imagining the situation. Though I believe he is a very nice man. He also showed fatherly affection to Namira whenever they met. But he never visited my house ever though it is very near to yours. We generally met him in your house, you better know. Now at this odd stage, he will come to my house. I’m not feeling comfort, frankly speaking.
PROMA: I understand. But what can we do now? Okay, Omera, I have to go now. Perhaps they will be anxious about me as I have come here telling nothing to anybody.
OMERA: Okay, sister Proma. Only God knows what I’ll have to do for this urchin.
SFX: PROMA LEAVES OMERA’S HOUSE AND NAMIRA CLOSES THE FRONT DOOR.
SCENE SIX INT. PROMA’S LIVING ROOM. AFTER MID NIGHT
SFX: DOOR BELL OF Proma’s house RINGS AND PROMA’S RUNNING INTO THE LIVING ROOM
PROMA: (ALOUD) Tonight I guess I shall have to be awake for the whole night. Namira is vexing Omera. And here Omera is troubling me. Oh no! After the whole day toiling I cannot drag my body now.
SFX: DOOR BELL OF Proma’s house RINGs AGAIN
PROMA: (RUNNING QUICKLY IN) Oh, hi, coming my little sister! Don’t press the teat again! Certainly, everybody is sleeping.
SFX: PROMA OPENS THE FRONT DOOR
OMERA: (NERVOUSLY) Sorry, Sister Proma, I’m ruined. Please wake up brother Noor. I’ve no alternative now.
PROMA: When I said about brother Noor then you didn’t feel better. Now in this dead of night how I can awake him? After all, he was very tired. Moreover, I have fearful love and respect for him so much that I’m hesitant to disturb him right now. Sorry, Omera I cannot do that.
OMERA: (Weeping) Atleast do it for your little princess. I cannot bear any more, sister Proma.
PROMA: Okay, Omera, dont cry – my beloved younger sister. Let me see what I can do.
SFX: OMERA’S CRYING AND NOOR’S ENTERING IN PROMA’S LIVING ROOM
NOOR: Hi younger sisters, what happened to you? Why Omera sister is crying. Is there anything wrong? I’m still awake. Actually when I become too exhausted then I cannot sleep. I heard from a doctor that over exhaustion always drives sleeping away from the eyes. What an irony is that when your body wants to sleep then your eyes don’t.
NOOR: (Looking toward Omera ) Hi, Omera my darling don’t cry like a little baby. Not that Brother Aziz has rebuked you.
OMERA: (WEEPING) He is not in house, now.
NOOR: Oh I see he has gone out after rebuking you.
OMERA: Not that.
NOOR: So, what happened to you at this late night that makes you cry like a baby girl?
OMERA: (weeping) I am ruined.
PROMA: (Interrupting Omera and Noor) Sorry for interrupting. I’ll tell you everything Brother Noor. Please change your dress. We’ll have to go to Omera’s house.
NOOR: What are you saying Proma ma’m. Have you gone mad at this late night? I know people’s head gets hot in winter season. In this dead of night I’ll have to go to Omera’s house where I have never gone.
PROMA: Oh Brother Noor, it is not time for joking. Sister Omera is in great trouble. You know Namira–Omera’s only daughter. Perhaps she has gone mad. She is doing what you’ll not believe if you don’t see in your own eyes.
NOOR: What happened to that cute girl? So far I know she is a very nice girl.
PROMA: We also believed so. But presently she doesn’t even recognize us.
NOOR: What are you saying, Proma. Sorry for my joking.
PROMA: No mention. We always like you for your good sense of humor.
OMERA: (interrupting their conversation) Sorry brother Noor, She is saying that our house is not her house. She wants to go to the grave yard. She is stripping off herself again and again and saying she will wear a shroud and she needs ashes to bury. Oh no, Brother Noor, I cannot bear this scene. Please save me Brother Noor.
NOOR: (TO OMERA) Oh no, sister Omera. Only God can save us. Okay, don’t cry. Please, wipe your tears, darling. Let me look into the matter. Okay, let’s move to your place. (LOOKING TO PROMA) hey Proma, I have a bio chemic medicine that I always carry with me as I sometimes suffer from sleeping problem. It brings not only sleep in eyes but also cool down the brain. I hope this will be effective. You know I sometimes take biochemical salts as medicines. These salts gave remedies really so far I had taken them as medicine. Perhaps salts are one of constituting elements of human body. May be she might suffer from salts. Salt imbalance in the body can make a man lunatic and divest one’s self-possession. My dear Sisters, if you don’t mind I want to tell you a story of my secondary school. One day I saw a sentence ‘Nothing tastes well’ engraved by someone on the plaster of the wall of our class room. After a few days I saw another sentence carved perhaps as the prescription of this problem by different hand writing that ‘Eat everything mixing salt’. I think he who gave this prescription was very wise.
PROMA: (laughing) Oh, brother Noor, you! you nay! You’re in fact a humorist! You can tell jokes at any time and make us laugh even in sorrows. Now let’s move. Here is your medicine box.
NOOR: Okay, let’s go.
SFX: Proma closes front door of her house pad locking from outside.
SCENE SEVEN INT. OMERA’S LIVING ROOM.AFTER MID NIGHT.
SFX: OMERA OPENS THE FRONT DOOR OF HER HOUSE BY KEYS.
OMERA: (Calling OUT JERIN) Hey, Jerin, what is Namira doing? Is everything okay, Jerin? Has Namira beaten you, further? Don’t mind, my child. Perhaps she has gone mad.
SFX: OMERA’S RUNNING IN NAMIRA’S BEDROOM AND DRAPING NAMIRA WITH A WHITE CLOTH AFTER TUSSLING WITH HER.
Omera: (ENTERING INTO THE LIVING ROOM) Sister Proma, Please come to Namira’s room. She is now in her room, groaning. I guess she is frightened now and clawing her faces.
SFX: PROMA’S slow running in NAMIRA’s BEDroom and ushering Brother Noor to NAMIRA’s room.
PROMA: (TO BROTHER NOOR) Please brother Noor, Come to Namira’s room.
SCENE EIGHT INT. NAMIRA’S BEDROOM. AFTER MID NIGHT
OMERA: (NERVOUSLY) Oh my God, Namira’s cheek is bleeding.
PROMA: (TO NAMIRA) Oh, my little princess, what injustice are you doing to your cute cheek? Please, stop this game, my sweet princess.
NOOR: (walking to NAMIRA) Hi, my beautiful Niece, What happened to you? Why are you doing so?
NAMIRA: (stripping off herself again and groaning) Me lord, I want to go to grave yard. They have confined me here unjustifiably. (HUMBLY) Please make them understand that I’m none to them. Please get me out of here.
NOOR: Where did you go in the evening?
NAMIRA: (Shouting) I won’t tell you.
NOOR: (REBUKING) Don you clothes. You are a young lady. This is your living room isn’t it? Certainly, you’re not in your bathroom or in the grave yard that you’ll wear a white cloth or a shroud. You’re not dead. You’re alive, my child. Please come to your sense.
NAMIRA: (Calling OUT Jerin) Give my nightie? (TO NOOR) You old haggard, you’re mistaken to visit me. (Groaning) I won’t spare you albeit I’ve to go now.
NOOR: (gripping the LITTLE finger of NAMIRA’S LEFT HAND) I’m your uncle Noor, nobody else. I’m the disciple of a holy man of an era to whom Shahbaj, the king of all kinds of Spirits is under a pledge. I believe in only God having no second who has created you and me and all the creations. So for sure, you are not out of His doctrine. So you are nobody to justify everything. Please come to your sense. I’m your uncle-not the uncle of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I’m your Noor uncle. You’re my dear Niece. I know you love me very much. You showed your due respect to me whenever we met each other in your Aunt Proma’s house. Please regain your senses. Nobody will rebuke you anymore. I’m here to guard you from rebuking.
NOOR: (REBUKING) Namira, you stupid sister don’t understand anything. You are oppressing my niece by fastening her hands. She is a sweet baby. So far I know she is very much conservative in her dress. I believe she is of course sacred.
NAMIRA: (TO UNCLE NOOR in soft voice) I have a request I’ll go to grave yard.
NOOR: (TO NAMIRA) Okay. (calling OUT Jerin) Open the door and all the windows. Let the cold breeze enter into the house. (TO OMERA) Omera, give me a glass of water, Sister only if you are sacred now.
SFX: JERIN OPENS THE DOORS AND WINDOWS. OMERA POURS WATER IN A GLASS
Omera: Brother Noor, Please take the glass of water.
NOOR: (reciting the verses thrice) Peace upon every believer from the kind and compassionate Creator – the most merciful and then (reciting the prayer once) Oh God put mercy on her for the sake of your Beloved Friend and the saint whose disciple I am.
SFX: NOOR PUFFS INto the water thrice
NOOR: (Calling NAMIRA in GRAVE VOICE) Namira, my dear Niece, drink the glass of water in three gulps.
SFX: NAMIRA SWALLOWS THE WATER AND COUGHS.
NAMIRA: (yelling) I’m feeling cold! Who have opened the windows of my room? It is too cold out of the doors perhaps. (CALLING OUT JERIN) Hey Jerin, Please give my cardigan and the shawl.
SFX: wearing hurrily the thrown off pantaloon and cami taking from the floor, NAMIRA THEN DRAPES HER WITH THE SHAWL.
NAMIRA: (to Omera) But it wasn’t that much cold in the grave yard (TO UNCLE NOOR) Wow, uncle Noor, I’m feeling myself weightless. (TO OMERA) What happened to me, Mom?
SFX: hoarse groaning and LOUD sound of shutting up of window panels and banging up of doors
Omera: (LOUD whispering to Proma) what’s sound it is? I’m feeling creepy.
PROMA: (sh sh…HUSH) Please keep quiet.
NAMIRA: What magic does the verse has?
PROMA: (wishpering to NAMIRA again) The holy verse indeed has effect if it is being uttered by a holy person. I read somewhere perhaps a saying of a sage that if anybody always speaks the truth once whatever he says becomes true.
OMERA: (Whispering to Proma) what you would often say about Brother Noor, today I have got some evidence of it perhaps.
NAMIRA: (BY YAWNING) I’m exhausted, Mom.
Omera: (calling OUT Jerin) Hey, Jerin, my child give Namira a glass of lukewarm milk.
NOOR: (interrupting whispering of two sisters) Sister Omera, please bring a cup of tepid hot water.
Omera: (calling OUT Jerin) Hey, Jerin, Warm a cup of water in the oven for thirty seconds only.
SFX: JERIN WARMS WATER IN A MICRO OVEN.
SFX: NOOR UnscrewS THE CAP OF a glass bottle of medicine.
NOOR: (TO PROMA) Listen Proma, give her these four pills to put them in the tongue. The pills will dissolve automatically on the tongue by the saliva of the mouth.
PROMA: (taking the pills in hand) Oh, yea brother Noor this is your biochemical medicine. Which salt is it?
NOOR: This is Kali Phosphoricum. I mean Potassium Phosphate. It helps to calm irritable tempers.
PROMA: (to NAMIRA ) Hi, my little princess, put them on the tongue and they will dissolve in few seconds in the mouth.
NOOR: Proma, You’ve got it.
PROMA: Brother Noor, I sometimes take as per you advice when I become tensed somehow or when I cannot sleep for being worried anyway. So far I have got good results.
Omera: Brother Noor, This is your tepid water.
NOOR: Oh, tepid water, Sister Omera, This is not for me. This is for Namira. Give her to take a single swallow. Drinking some lukewarm water after taking potassium phosphate gives good result and helps rapid dissolution and quick absorption in blood.
Omera: Oh I see, that’s why you told me to bring hot water. I thought you have caught cold coming out of house at this deep cold night. (HUMBLY) Very sorry for giving you trouble at this deep night. I had no means except disturbing you at this late cold night. Again sorry Brother Noor for the inconvenience I have done to you.
NOOR: Oh, No. Sister Omera you talk too much. If man does not come forward to help in others’ troubles then what recognition is for man as the best creation of God? Moreover you’re a relative of mine. (LAUGHING) And my dear sweet little sister in law.
NAMIRA: (TO OMERA) I feel drowsy, Mom.
Omera: will I switch off the light, my child?
NAMIRA : Oh Mummy, No, never, not for a second! I have got frightened. Please don’t switch of the light. And mummy, you don’t let uncle Noor go at this late Night. I feel courage if he is here. Uncle Noor has real guts.
SFX: NAMIRA snores
OMERA: Oh God thank you. Thank you again Brother Noor. What a great trouble has befallen on us!
SCENE NINE INT. OMERA’S LIVING ROOM. AFTER MID NIGHT.
NOOR: Hey, Sister Proma, listen, I think now it is time to depart. What do you think?
PROMA: Oh yea Brother Noor, We should leave now. I cannot make any more late. It is already 2 AM. After a while your brother will also look for me.
NOOR: Why? What need has he had at this deep night?
PROMA : (FEELING SHAME) I dunno.
NOOR: (LAUGHING) Sweet Sister in Law, still you are…fie-fie!
PROMA: Not that. Brother Noor. You are kidding in this deep night. (LAUGHING) You can do, of course you can! Perhaps nobody of my house knows about what was happening here in Omera’s house. Moreover, I have locked the house from outside keeping them inside. At least this is not fair I think.
NOOR: Everybody shouldn’t know everything of all this events, I think. Please, Proma keep everything secret for the good of Namira. Still she is an unmarried young lady. Anybody whoever he is, whether relatives or not, will find it as a juicy gossip. I think you’ve got my point.
PROMA: I do understand though I don’t have a daughter, brother Noor.
NOOR: let’s go Proma. We can make no more late. (Calling out) Where is sister Omera? We’re going.
OMERA: (FROM KITCHEN IN LOUD VOICE) Coming Sister Proma. Coming brother Noor. Please don’t go. I’m coming.
SFX: OMERA’S RUNNING IN THE LIVING ROOM
Omera: Brother Noor, you have come to my place for the first time perhaps. I have muddled everything getting into trouble. Sorry I couldn’t even give you some snacks. (Calling out Jerin) Hey, Jerin bring the tray in the living room. Hurry up Jerin, don’t make delay.
SFX: JERIN PUTS THE TRAY OF SNACKS ON THE TEA TABLE
NOOR: (TO OMERA) I see now you have gone mad. (TO PROMA) Look Proma, at this deep night sister Omera is showing courtesy to us. (WEEK LAUGH) She wants to feed us with milk.
Omera: Pure cow’s milk.
NOOR: Is the cow pure or the milk?
Omera: (WEEK LAUGH) Both.
NOOR: Thanks Omera. I won’t drink milk at this late night.
Omera: It is healthy to drink a glass of tepid milk before going to sleep.
NOOR: Yea I know. And I follow this but I’ve already drunk that sister Proma offered. It is already 2am in the wall Clock. (TO PROMA) Proma, let’s depart.
PROMA: Oh, yea brother Noor, I didn’t want to interrupt your sweet conversation.
NOOR: Let’s go. (to Omera) Okay, Omera, everything is okay, I hope. Meet you later. Now good bye.
Omera: (HUMBLY) Seek your blessings. I’m coming tomorrow morning in Proma’s house with Namira.
SFX: NAMIRA SNORES AND OMERA CLOSES THE FRONT DOOR.
SCENE TEN INT. ROAD SIDE MASTER BEDROOM SITUATED NEAR GARDEN OF PROMA’S HOUSE.LATE NIGHT
SFX: WALL CLOCK’S TICK-TOCK
SFX: (PLAY THROUGH AND OUT) PERIODIC DOGS WHINING ON THE STREET, OWLS’ HOOTING, CRICKETS’ CHIRPING, RATS SQUEAK, BATS SCREECH.
NOOR: (GASPING) I’m not at all afraid of your ugly face.
GHOST: (WOMAN VOICE) I won’t spare you, Mr. Noor!
NOOR (SNUBBING) I don’t care your threat! Perhaps you don’t know me. You don’t know-whose blood is flowing in my arteries?
GHOST: (SNIFFING) I can characterize types of people by smelling their blood, understand Mister.
NOOR You’ve made a mistake this time, for sure.
GHOST: (CONFIDENTLY) I don’t make any mistake.
NOOR This is a citation of Satan who makes all the evil.
GHOST: Why don’t you think it as reverse? If it is a quote of an angel then what will you say to me?
NOOR (LAUGHING) You’re an angel with this ugly face. I’ll have to believe this. Ah-ha-ha! Oh God, save me from this ugly face.
GHOST: (ANGRILY) I’m not saying you that I’m an angel. But you’re seeing my furious face now.
NOOR That means you’re beautiful, I’ll have to believe it also. Oh God save me from this ugly face.
GHOST: (STRANGLING) you talk too much. I’ll make you mute forever.
NOOR (GASPING) Is it so easy for you? Now I see you’re indeed a ghost not an angel. I’ve no doubt about it. I’ve done up many ghosts like you!
GHOST: (GIGGLING) I’m not the same as you’re thinking. I never died. Well, I want to hear about your heroic melee against ghosts. I want to see how much gallant you are.
NOOR (GASPING) First you refrain from choking my throat, my dear ghost.
GHOST: Okay. But you’ll not have much time to finish your story. I’m running out of my time to punish you.
NOOR (COUGHING) Our family had enmity with ghosts from dates back to Nineteen hundred fourteen. My reverend heavenly father was a soldier of Indian Infantry World War I.
GHOST: I want to hear your story not about your father. (PAUSE) Oh yea, what you’ve said? That your father was a soldier! I like soldiers very much as they are crazy patriots. They are the principal progeny of a nation. Where did he fight in WWI?
NOOR : He took part in the battle of Basra which took place in south of the city of Basra between British Allied Force and Ottoman Troops in the month of November Nineteen hundred fourteen. Let the battle field story be left off. Oh yea, I remember I’ll have to tell you ghost stories-nothing else. Okay, as a member of a triumphant party the mettled soldier became self confident and arrogant much more. One day, after his return from the battle field, he was coming back to home from a rural levee at mid night. On middle of the way toward home there were two big palm trees one on each side. A big cat sitting on the top most branch of one tree was crying.
SFX: miaow, miaow.
NOOR: A kitten was running around his legs blocking his path and crying.
SFX: MEOW, MEOW.
NOOR: As he was stepping forward, the kitten was making hurdles crying mew mew.
SFX: MEOW, MEOW.
NOOR: He was saying budge! budge! And the kitten was climbing up the palm tree at a hasty run. As every time whenever he stepped to move forward, the kitten got down from the tree again in the twinkling of an eye and moved around the legs of the soldier crying mew mew.
SFX: MEOW, MEOW.
NOOR: And the big cat was jumping from the palm tree on a bamboo-clump and making the bamboo twigs falling on his head so that sharp branches could cut his cheeks.
SFX: RUSTLES OF LEAVES
GHOST : Wow, A cat could do so!
NOOR : It was also a question of the soldier.
GHOST : Okay, go on.
NOOR After getting several small bloody cut on the cheek, the soldier lost his head. At that moment the kitten bit his feet crying mew mew.
SFX: MEOW, MEOW.
NOOR The soldier kicked the baby cat so forcefully that it had gone out of scene crying mew mew.
SFX: MEOW, MEOW.
NOOR All of a sudden there rose tremendous shaking of the twigs of the palm trees. And the soldier heard loud groaning sound from the top of the palm tree.
SFX: ghostly groaning
NOOR He looked over the tree and saw the big cat, then looking very gigantic were shaking the twigs so vigorously that a tempest could do with its angry gestures and slapping its chest by the front paws.
SFX: chest slapping
NOOR The soldiers then moved toward his home with creepy feeling.
GHOST : Listen, Mr. Noor! I want to hear about ghost’s! Not about cats or mew mews.
NOOR : you are very impatient. I see.
GHOST : you are kidding and just wasting my time. No hope to get rid of my rage. What you have done is not fair at all.
NOOR I try not to make any evil. I try to subdue my carnal soul for sure.
GHOST: You don’t know whom you’ve helped a while before. What evil she had done last evening.
NOOR I just helped a helpless girl and a mother.
GHOST : Do you know what your young helpless lady did! Of course, you don’t know.
NOOR : I was not interested. I found her frenzied.
GHOST : Okay, First finish your story.
NOOR : After the first world war the soldier got married to a woman.
GHOST : (SARCASTICALLY) A man marries a woman. It is normal. Isn’t it?
NOOR : Will you stop your snubbing. He married a woman of age twelve, a sister of two ICS officers. She got scholarship in standard five but couldn’t continue her study as she had reached perhaps her age of marriage in her community of that period of time. Very interesting that her two ICS brothers didn’t get that scholarship. Though she was a scholar yet she couldn’t be an ICS officer since she was a woman, I guess.
GHOST : Are you a feminist? But you’re not looking so by face. I know face is the index of mind.
NOOR : Oh, yea I know too. But face reflects the instant condition of mind like the sky. Sometimes cloudy! Sometimes sunny! Face doesn’t show one’s ideology. I support equal right for man and woman on principle.
GHOST : Will you stop your incoherent talk. I want to hear your ghost story not your family story. You are wrong if you think that you will fabricate your story like Scheherazade- the legendary Persian queen and the story teller of the One thousand and One nights to save you from being punished. I am not the king Shahryar that I would fall in love with you and spare your life and make you my mate.
NOOR : (NARRATING)I haven’t perused so many books, annals and legends of Kings and the stories, examples and instances of bygone men as Scheherazade did; not studied that much philosophy and the sciences and arts; I’m not that much wise and witty like Scheherazade that I can pass one hour telling you stories let alone one thousand and one nights. Moreover I am a man. You know women are much talkative than man. Why do they do so? That has perhaps a strong organic reason also. I guess you know the reason. And You cannot be Shahryar. He is a king. You are an extremely ugly woman! No. nay, it may be left off. Sorry, I’m a married person and I have six children though I still look very young to you perhaps. So I don’t have any interest about ghosts. Oh, hi, you’re making me remember a fairy tale of few fairies that became foes of my younger maternal uncle after being failed to entrap in the illusion of their love. Will you hear the story? Otherwise you tell your story that has excited you and made you so angry on me and follow me. I don’t have enough time to tell you all these stories as the night is passing. I’ll have to say my dawn prayer.
GHOST : Hey, Guy, You’re criticizing woman. Finish your story as early as possible.
NOOR : In the course of time the first born came to their lap. It was a daughter. All were very happy. After seven days, at midnight the baby was sleeping amidst her parents. As the child was sleeping, the soldier and his wife had fallen asleep. After a short while, the soldier awaked by a cat’s mew mew.
SFX: miaow, miaow.
NOOR: What he saw opening his eyes was most awesome scene he had witnessed in his whole life. He had fought in many big battles and his heart did rend never but today he became dumb and his heart was beating like a drum and the whole body became numbed with grief. He was suffocating and couldn’t call even his wife also.
SFX: HEART’S THROBBING SOUND AND DRUM BEAT
GHOST : What he saw?
NOOR : The cat was strangling the baby girl with his fore paws keeping the hind legs on her belly. The baby was groaning but couldn’t cry out. Everything happened so quickly that the baby had died before the soldier could have understood the matter. The baby was not flinging her feet any more. When the soldier regained his feeling he saw the cat jumped out of the house with revengeful eyes. Before disappearing from the sight finally the cat transformed itself to an ugly woman and said gnashing her teeth that you killed my daughter four years before near the palm tree which is my house and I have killed your daughter now in your house. I had to wait for this day for four years. This is called tit for tat. The soldier could do nothing except looking at the ugly face with a bewildered gaze. The mother awoke in the mean time and found her baby cold and benumbed. But she could know nothing that had happened in last few minutes. Understanding that her baby girl was no more in this world the mother was crying a heart rendering cry and slapping her chest crooning that `what happened to my baby, my baby was suckling my breasts happily some time before also’. The soldier was mumbling.
GHOST: (giving big hot sigh) oh no what fault the poor baby girl had (PAUSE) I don’t know.
NOOR : This is called tyranny of the mighty to the weak.
GHOST : The soldier also did so. Didn’t he? He killed a little creature.
NOOR : He had seen it as a kitten nothing else. I heard that he had no ill will. He didn’t want to kill the cat ever under any circumstances. Actually, as they were provoking him without any reason he lost his control on his temper. You ghosts have no principle. You assume appearances as you like.
GHOST : I’m not a ghost. I mentioned you earlier.
NOOR: Then, who are you?
GHOST : I myself won’t give you my identity. You’ll recognize me after my departure if you meditate.
NOOR: Hopefully I’ll not remember this ugly face. Rather I tell you a story about getting recognition after departure as you have just mentioned. You’ll be happy to hear the story perhaps. Will I commence?
GHOST : (ALOUD) Oh no, in whose clutches I have fallen?
NOOR : It is not an imposition. If you’re interested, otherwise not.
GHOST : Okay, then.
NOOR: Of course I read it somewhere. Are you interested to hear this type of story? The one thousand and one stories that Scheherazade told king Shahryar, (PAUSE) Perhaps, most of them were perused not concocted.
GHOST: (ANGRILY) Hey man you talk too much whereas you said women talk too much.
SFX: QUIETLY IN B/G: THE BABBLING NOISE AS OF A FLOWING RIVER AND ROWING OF A BOAT
NOOR : Okay, A boatman would worshiped a goddess. He would long to see her always. One day at mid night he was rowing his boat across the river side singing a song:
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.
Nobody was seen there on the bank to be taken to the other bank. So he was returning rowing and rowing along the river-bank remembering the goddess in mind. All of a sudden he heard a call of a woman from the nearby bank to help her to cross the river by boat. The boatman was enchanted by the beauty of the woman. He never saw an ornamented pretty woman ever in his life. He rowed to her at once with a great speed. The woman sat on a deck while travelling the boat. The boatman asked the woman to say the reason for her coming out at this dark night. She said nothing in answer. The boatman became much more inquisitive by her silence. He then asked ‘are you married, mother’? She nodded her head with an affirmative gesture. He asked her about her husband’s occupation. At length she answered in her vernacular verses:
Oti Boro Bridho pati
Kono Goon Nei Tar
The boatman recited the verses repeatedly in his mind and thought that what the young woman could do in this situation when she has such an old addicted extremely unfortunate mate having no virtue as he translated the verse as:
Too old is my husband
Adept in swallowing bhang
He has no virtue at all
This worthless husband at least is not behooving for such an attractive fairy like woman.
The boatman said to the woman “Mother, you have made no mistake. It’s better not to have a husband than such one.”The woman gave a mesmerizing laughter hearing helmsman’s comment. In the mean time the boatman reached the opposite bank. The woman got down from the boat giving a gold coin to the boatman and disappeared within a few seconds in the darkness of night like a light point because of increasing distance from the observer. After her disappearance the boatman withdrew his eye sight from the woman to the place where she sat on his boat .He saw something unworldly. The wooden plank on which she kept her feet became a pure gold-leaf and it was detracting light like a piece of heated iron. The boatman walked to it and took it in hands unbolting. He was touching the gold bar with his fingers again and again and then rubbing his fingers on his forehead.
GHOST : Why he was doing so?
NOOR: Telling you my dear ghost. Please keep patience. After that the boat man recited the verses of the woman in his mind again and again and tried to understand the meaning of her verses afresh. Now he translated the verses this way:
Too experienced is my husband
Adept in attainment of divine grace
Through austere religious practice
He has no mischievous quality
Forehead glowing with high spirit
That means her husband is an experienced person and passes his time in prayers. He has no bad habits and his forehead is lighted by the heavenly light. The woman’s husband is none but one of his god. She was none but his goddess whom the boatman would worship and long to see once in his whole life. He had no more doubt. He had seen his goddess whom he was worshipping since his maturity. My dear ghost, are you someone like the goddess of this story as you’re telling that I’ll recognize you after your departure. Listen! I don’t long to see such an ugly face ever. (ALOUD) Please leave me alone.
GHOST : (LAUGHING) I’m not leaving you so easily. I’ll hear your every story then I’ll leave you giving your punishment.
NOOR : You are telling only about punishment again and again. That’s why I’m sure that you are a ghost nothing else. What punishment do you want to give me?
GHOST : (ANGRILY) It is your death! Don’t address me again as a ghost, I warn. I’m not a ghost.
NOOR: (CONFIDENTLY) I always see my death in front of me. So I cannot make any evil even if I try to.
GHOST : Sorry, I don’t get it.
NOOR: If I tell you another story then you’ll understand.
SFX: QUIETLY IN B/G: BEATING THE WOODS AND RIDING OF HORSES
NOOR: (NARRATING) A king met with a holy person, preparing little balls of medicine by kneading leaves of an herb and eating them one after another in the deep forest when he was hunting as well as searching for aboriginal women for having sex with them. The holy person gave the king a little ball to eat. Then the king came back to his palace from hunting. At night he had vigorous sexual intercourse not only with his wife but also with so many pleasant women in his harem that he never did at a time in the same night. Next morning, the king with his soldiers searched for more women in that jungle as it occurred to his mind that the holy person certainly had been maintaining his harem privately with lots of sexy women to meet his excessive sexual demand aroused by eating so many balls of herb, but did’nt find any type of harem he thought in the jungle. Last of all, the king came to the sage and found him eating the same thing. The old person smiled at the tired king. He gave the king seven balls to eat a ball every day and warned him, “You may live for seven days only.” The king returned home and ate a ball every day. But he could not think of anything except the prophecy of the holy person about his death. Seven days passed but the king was alive. The king understood what the sage wanted to make him understand. Then the king went to the saint again and asked him about the fact of the ball. The holy person answered by saying that “Get the point, the honorable king, I see my death always standing before me so I cannot do any evil.”
GHOST : You mean thinking of death surely prevents the wrong doer from doing wrongs.
NOOR: (WEAK LAUGH) Very interesting that Scheherazade I mean the queen and the story teller had three sons with king Shahryar who kept himself ready every night of total one thousand and one nights to behead Scheherazade. Whereas this king who was prophesied by the saint to live only for seven days even forgot to dine let alone having sex with women of his harem
GHOST: Oh, opportunity of having sex even made her to forget his death decree. You want to say.
NOOR: Not that. Perhaps every day Shahryar had sex with a new virgin after marrying without their consent and then beheaded her. Of course he did this in anger, having found his first wife unfaithful to him. He had killed one thousand such women by the time he was introduced to Scheherazade.
GHOST: Wow! You are saying that the king had raped one thousand one wives. Is the word `rape’ appropriate in case of wives?
NOOR: Not that. I want to say that he had sex with one thousand one wives without their support perhaps.
GHOST: I think, husband has legitimate right to have sex with his wife. Isn’t it?
NOOR: Of course he has but wife’s consent is also important for intercourse I think. Leave this gossip please. I’m not going to tell you any more story as you are wringing your hands to kill me strangulating. I am scared of death-agony.
GHOST: At least don’t criticize Scheherazade who enriched literature of Arabian world. Now, please tell me the story of fairies that made them foes to your maternal uncle perhaps an ICS Officer.
NOOR: No more stories. Now, I want to know the reason why you have followed me and want to kill me.
GHOST: What you have done is nothing but an offence. This is all I have to say. I won’t say you anything more.
NOOR: You said so briefly that is helping me recollect another story of two friends. One was simple and the other was very clever.
GHOST: Please tell me the story. I cannot wait any more.
NOOR: If I am hanged I think I don’t need to tell you the story and waste my time. Better to remember my Creator to whom my soul will go back.
GHOST: Okay, I’ll reduce your punishment.
NOOR: I don’t want your mercy. You are simply a Ghost. Who are you to punish me?
GHOST: I’m not a ghost. Please tell me your story.
SFX: QUIETLY IN B/G: WALLA-high school boys are making a hue and cry as they are playing football in the school field. others are gallivanting
NOOR: Two friends sat on a corner of a high school’s playing field to eat a big jack fruit. They opened the jackfruit to eat its fleshes. The clever friend crafted a plan to eat more fleshes. Accordingly he asked the friend to tell him about the causes of his father’s death. The fool friend started to tell everything ins and outs happened before his father’s death by crooning, leaving eating the juicy fleshes. But the clever friend was eating the fleshes with full contentment without break. At some point the fool friend looked that the most part of the fruit had already been eaten. Then he thought that if I ask him to tell the dying moment history of his father, he might narrate the events to him too. In the mean time he would eat the rest of the flashes. But his trick didn’t get fruit, as the clever friend finished the story in a sentence that his father died of cholera. Saying this he continued to eat the fleshes again.
GHOST: So you mean I’m clever. But in our case you’re clever as you are just wasting my time telling your cock and bull stories.
NOOR: But you’re cleverer as you are hurrying to strangulate me I think.
GHOST : Okay, please tell me now fairies tale.
NOOR: Oh, how the fairies became foes to my family?
SFX: QUIETLY IN B/G: TINKLING OF PERIODIC MESMERIZING LAUGH. A PATTERING SOUND AS OF RAIN FALLING. A SWEET JINGLING SOUND AS OF THE BELLS OF A DANCER’S ANKLETS.
NOOR: (NARRATING) My younger uncle was very handsome and attractive person. He could sing well. When he was a jubilant youth he sometimes took part in folk theatre also. He acted in hero’s role in many great ancient epics. Once he was acting in such an epic that depicted a story of a fairy who had fallen in love with a young man. Very interesting that three fairies were watching this dramatic performance as normal spectators. Perhaps the story and the role of my maternal uncle as a hero were liked by them. After finishing the open-air drama he was returning to home after mid night. On the way through the deep jungle he came across three beautiful attractive women who seemed to him very alien. They hailed him with mesmerizing laughter and gave him their actual recognition. They also told him about the open-air opera they had just watched. They said that they were spell bound by his acting and his figure. My uncle thanked them for their greetings in frightened voice as he had the perception that the real life and the playing a part are quite different. Then he stepped forward stridently without seeing back side again. But the fairies were laughing with tinkling and appearing before him in a jiffy. The younger fairies encouraged him to come out of fear and acquainted the most beautiful one as their elder sister Jobaida and said that Jobaida had fallen love with him at first sight. My uncle was in a confounded state at this ridiculous affair. He didn’t say anything to them. They said `we like to eat sweet meat very much’. `Tomorrow we will meet here again’. Please bring sweets for us when you will come. You guys can prepare very good sweets’. The next day my uncle went in the deep forest with an unquenchable attraction mixed with fear as soon as the dusk had appeared in the horizon. After a short while the fairies indeed appeared before him with a bouquet of uncommon flowers that he had never seen in his whole life. He also carried good sweets for them. They became very happy to see the sweets and gobbled them within a moment. All of a sudden the two younger fairies disappeared. Then Jobaida approached to him and said laughing that Aziz still you are afraid of me, I see. There’s no reason to crouch in fair. I’m in love with you. Then she proposed him ceremonially handing over the bouquets she brought for him and kissing his leaps. Still Aziz couldn’t dispel fear from his mind. Jobaida gripped his hand and said `let us sit under the kadam tree’. He was astonished to see the tree blooming with flowers in an off season. Then it was not the rainy season when the Kadam trees generally bloom. Everything seemed very unusual and bogus to him albeit he accompanied her in fear as he knew about his brother in laws’ pathetic story of losing his only baby girl. Jobaida kept her head on his chest and said `I love you and I won’t live without you’. The young man was obsessed with a subtle feeling and was in what to do situation again. The young man also knew that it was not possible at any rate to marry her as she was a fairy. That day he somehow managed to escape from her and came back to home making a promise that the following day he would meet her. The next day two young sisters came before him. But jobaida didn’t come. They said that their elder sister would come later as she had some chore to finish. By the time Jobaida came upon the scene, they gave him some indecent proposals to pass the mean time pleasantly. Though he was attracted by their beauty yet he could not attend their impulses, may be in fear, but he declined their proposal on principle though they tried to get him forcefully instigating him by exposing different beauty curves of their physique, he subdued his instincts by his whole means. Suddenly they disappeared from the scene. He got frightened and had a creepy feeling. At that moment Jobaida appeared before him with an awkward face and called him a betrayer. `I would have met up your demand if you lusted. You men have no patience, become so lustful whenever get a chance’. My uncle was trembling with fear. Jobaida disappeared abusing and cursing him. She never came back ever. Are you hearing me my dear ghost?
GHOST: Oh, yea I’m here. Again you’re calling me ghost. Be sure that I’m not a ghost.
NOOR: Okay, this is all about the fairies.
GHOST: Oh, yea. The younger sisters made Jobaida misunderstand Aziz. Your uncle -the ICS officer! But what I know that the younger sisters of a wife have very sweet relations with their brother in law in your society. You are just kidding! What gallantry do you have in all these stories? I don’t see anything. Please don’t beat about the bush for God’s sake, man. If you have any true story please tell me, otherwise let me do my job.
SFX: QUIETLY IN B/G: A SLOW STEADY DRUM BEAT.
NOOR : I am a disciple of a great man of an era perhaps. Once I was sitting before the holy person with the other disciples. But I could not recognize a person sitting with us in the meeting. At some point he stood before the sage and said, begging your pardon’ my lord, I am the king of all type of spirits. My name is Shahbaj. I am very sorry for the misdeeds of the imps in the prayer room. They had vexed the devotees who complained to you during saying their prayers. This will not happen again to them I promise. Moreover, I promise to guard your disciples from being oppressed by that hob goblin. My lord, you are invited to visit my palace at any time. If you remember me the worthless devotee will be glad to be present here in your durbar at your service. May I depart now from your kind sight? Shahbaj disappeared by taking adieu from the saint. After some days I joined my job and I had to go to a new place. Once I was returning to my home from my work station in a weekend. As I was passing the point where still the palm trees were standing as the observer of time, (PAUSE) It was too mid night as the train made late to drop me in my destination. I would feel creepy whenever I passed the place as it reminds me the horrible tragic event that happened to our family. Today the supposition of appearing a ghost came true first time ever in my life.
SFX: QUIETLY IN B/G: PREIODIC CACHINNATION. GNASHING OF TEETH. GHOST’S HOWLING.
NOOR: I saw a ghost was standing before me with a pose of keeping the legs apart thereby making a passage through them to pass in occupying as if the full length between the ground and the sky breaching my belief that a spirit sees us 70 times taller. I asked him about his recognition. He told me that `I am the son of that spirit whose baby girl was killed by your father’. I answered that `I’m the son of that soldier whose baby girl was strangulated unjustifiably by your mother perhaps.’ I warned him that `Today I won’t spare you if you try to vex me, you mischievous child’. He asked me to go through the gap of his legs and assured me that `I won’t not do any harm to you. I’m not that much revengeful like my mother. It is a game’. `A game for you but may be death for me if you squeeze my throat by your legs. I’m not that much stupid to play with you that game’. I answered. As he was imposing me to do so I said to him that `I am a slave of Him who is kind and the most compassionate and merciful. We all are at the mercy of Him. And I’m a disciple of a sage to whom your king Shabaj promised to. Please, I don’t want to go in an affray with you without any cause. You may go now’. `No I’ll not leave you’ he said. Then I raised my forefinger toward him remembering the hymn `Certainly, He is kind and compassionate and the most merciful and will have mercy upon me at least for the sake of His Friend. Oh, `My Lord, do mercy on me’. Then the ghost went away abruptly transforming himself a raven and cawing.
SFX: CROWS CAW AND THEN A MENACING SHOUT
NOOR: In the early morning I saw a monstrous dead raven fallen at the root of one of the palm trees.
GHOST : Did Shahbaj do so ?
NOOR : I don’t know. Please let me finish.
GHOST : okay.
NOOR: I came back to home at once from the place of palm trees to tell everything of last night to my mummy. I found my mummy cutting fish for frying for me taking out of water of the mud jar. Moreover, I saw an old lady was devouring live fishes taking out the jar and groaning and murmuring that `my only son also died because of my vengence’. When my mother put her hand into the jar to catch more fishes she didn’t find any more fish. My mummy asked me, `Son, where had all the fishes gone? I have cut only three. I told my mummy not to bother for the fishes because they were eaten by that ghost who killed your first born.
GHOST: That will do. And I guess that you claim that you are an exorcist.
NOOR: Not at all. Now tell me the reason why you’ve made up your mind to vex me.
Ghost: No, I won’t tell you. You know the reason from her whom you have helped get rid of my wrath. You didn’t do well.
NOOR: Just give me some hints, my dear ghost so that I can at least warn her.
Ghost: Okay, what she did was nothing but a nuisance to a good satiated soul.
NOOR: Definitely, I don’t also support this nuisance. I helped her as I found her distressed.
Ghost: I couldn’t tolerate it. I wanted to punish her. And you guy has hampered my performance in doing so. Now I’ll strangulate you, instead of her.
NOOR: Like the Cat that strangulated my sister at the age of seven days in the vengeance. (ALOUD) Are you a relative of that old cat whom I saw eating the living fishes.
Ghost: No I’m not that kind of spirit you are talking about. I make you sure that I’m not a ghost.
SFX: COCKS CROWING COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO
NOOR: Oh, yea I remember I’ll recognize you after your departure. So you may leave now by taking the name of your Lord-who has created us all. I’ll have to say my dawn prayers. I need to get my ablution. Hopefully you won’t waste my time any more. Don’t you here the cocks crowing. After a while, you’ll hear the melodious call for prayer from everywhere? I think it is time to leave now and go to your place, my dear ghost. Or I can tell you another story of Naraka and Kamakhya Devi and cock’s crowing.
SFX: COCKS CROWING COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO
GHOST: Oh yea I’m undone. Beg your pardon I don’t want to hear anymore. I`m hungry!
NOOR: You know I’m a guest here and perhaps you are a ghost.
Ghost: You’re kidding with me and calling me a ghost again. I’m very hungry.
NOOR: Okay, yea, you claim that you’re not a ghost. I recognize you as a good spirit since you are at least not ready to sustain any nuisance. Hope you are happy now.
GHOST: You are a disciple of such a holy man to whom I also have due respect. I’m exhausted, Mr. Noor. (Groaning) I’m hungry. I need to eat something.
NOOR: I cannot do anything for you here in my brother’s house. You can go to my residence. It is far away from here. But you spirit have perhaps wings- wings of a dove. You can fly very fast. My wife Nefertiti cooks very well. You can go there. She has to cook in much amount as I have six children. Moreover, many guests visit my place every day. It is her hobby to cook at night and much at a time. Moreover tomorrow she along with the elder children will fast as it is Friday. Before getting married with me Nefertiti would fast for three sixty days in a year. Perhaps it was her ritual hobby. They will take their preparatory meal for fasting after a while. You may go there.
Ghost: You are kidding!
NOOR: You may check it. Relish the taste of her menu.
Ghost: Oh, yea I’m really very hungry. I can fly to your house in less than a nanosecond.
Ghost: Hundred percent true.
SFX: NOOR performs his ablutions in the wash room.
SCENE ELEVEN INT. NEFERTITI’S BED ROOM. THE SMALL HOURS
SFX: NEFERTITI SNORES AND CHILDREN WHEEZE DUE TO CATCHING COLD. ALARM CLOCK GOES OFF. QUICKLY SILENCED
NEFERTITI: (Yawning) Oh God it is already four am. It is too cold. I’ll have to heat up some water for performing ablutions.
SFX: NEFERTITI slapS on the back OF HER first born.
NEFERTITI: Get up my princess. Hurry up it is already four am. No time to spare. Wake up baby. Don’t make late. (Calling aloud) hey, Foyez! My son, don’t sleep more. You have to take preparatory meal for fasting. You don’t need to do anything just wake up my dear son! Today is Friday. You told me that you will fast today. Don’t make any noise that let the little ones to wake up. Have you understood my dear son?
SFX: Different types of YAWNING AND act of straightening body and removing inertia
NEFERTITI: (to Khuki, the first born) Don’t forget to drape you by the shawl while going to the kitchen. It is too cold outside, Princess. (GRUMBLING OUT) It is really difficult to go to the thatched kitchen at this deep night by walking so far.
SFX: DOOR PULLING AND HINGES’ SQUEAK
NEFERTITI: (calling out khuki) I’m coming my princess having my ablution.
SCENE TWELVE EXT: NEFERTITI’S THATCHED KITCHEN.THE SMALL HOURS
SFX: TEN YARDS WALKING BY NEFERTITI AND CHILDREN TOWARD THE THATCHED KITCHEN
SFX: KHUKI UnlockS the DOOR of the kitchen by keys. hinges SQUEAK
SFX: RAISING A HUE AND CRY IN FEAR AND SURPRISE
NEFERTITI: (SOLILOQUISING with a surprising voice) Wow, I have never seen such large footprints in my life. They may be two feet or more in length. Oh, they are so black that perhaps someone has put these steps here after dipping the feet in jet black ink. (Thinking) Which steps may they be? (counting) One, two, three, four, five ,six steps.
SFX: Commotion of surprising tone denoting fright, amazement etc. saying like that my body is creeping, weeping in fear by the children
NEFERTITI: Don’t worry children. It might be an after effect of your exorcist father’s performance, I guess. May be he is driving away somebody’s ghost by exorcising. Don’t cry, my dear children. Please wipe your eyes. Everything is okay. Let me prepare our meal. Khuki, pick up the fire woods that were kept on the cooking pots to keep the curry and rice hot. I think the char coal is still burning, Princess remove the mud lid carefully.
SFX: KHUKI PICKS UP THE FIRE WOODS ONE BY ONE AND STACKS UP THEM BESIDE THE OVEN. THEN KEEPS THE MUD LID ON IT
NEFERTITI: Wow, Everything is eaten down! Nothing in the pot! Perhaps licked off completely! How could it be possible when everything is in order as I kept on the mud oven? Oh my God what we will eat now as preparatory meal for fasting?
SFX: Commotion of expressing surprise by children and consoling by Nefertiti saying like everything is fine. nothing to be worried. okay. don’t cry kids. we’ll eat bread and milk.
SCENE THIRTEEN INT. PROMA’S LIVING ROOM. EARLY MORNING.
SFX: DOOR BELL RINGS
PROMA: (ALOUD) Hello, who has come in this early morning? Perhaps there’s some bullshit at the door. Today too in this holiday people don’t forget to vex others. I thought I would sleep until I awoke. Oh no, no time to sleep also I see.
SFX: The bell is ringing again
PROMA: (CALLING OUT) Coming! Don’t press the teat again. Don’t make everybody awake. I’m the slave of this family, and always at your service.
SFX: PROMA’S RUNNING IN THE LIVING ROOM.
PROMA: (TO brother NOOR) Oh, hi Brother Noor ,you’re already here in the drawing room. Sorry Brother Noor, I didn’t notice you at all. How unfortunate! I’ve made your visit this time to my place really troublesome. Sorry! Sorry! brother, perhaps you couldn’t sleep even for an hour in the whole night for our disturbances.
SFX: PROMA opens THE FRONT DOOR.
SFX: NAMIRA and Omera enter inTO Proma’s living room.
Omera: (humbly) hi Brother Noor, perhaps you couldn’t sleep last night. We’re responsible for this. That’s why I beg your pardon. I couldn’t but have to come here in this early morning because Namira was insisting me to come. I told her we would go after a while but she became restless to meet you. I don’t know what happened to her again. She was pressing me for coming here again and again. She was unwilling to hear my forbidding. She has something to tell you, perhaps.
PROMA: Okay, I’ll join your chatting later. Now, I’m going to prepare breakfast for you all. (TO OMERA AND NAMIRA) Omera and Namira don’t go without having breakfast.
OMERA: Oh, hi, sister Proma I’m coming to help you. I know you have to toil whole day. Moreover, I myself also become sometimes nuisance to you.
PROMA: Don’t think so. You’re my little lovely sister. If you don’t vex me, then who will? Okay come with me.
SFX: PROMA AND OMERA LEAVE THE LIVING ROOM.
SCENE FOURTEEN INT. PROMA’S LIVING ROOM. MORNING.
NOOR: (exhausted) What has happened to you in this early morning? You won’t hesitate to tell me, I hope.
NAMIRA: (little trembling) I’m very sorry for the last night.
NOOR: Leave all these that happened last night. Now how do you feel? I guess you are frightened.
NAMIRA: I feel somehow creepy and guilty about yesterday’s night.
NOOR: Namira, again you’re talking about last night. Forget all these nonsense. Remember, God is kind and forgives us of course if we understand that we are wrong and beg His pardon.
NAMIRA: (weeping) But I’ll have to tell you everything what I did in the last evening so that I can make my chest light.
NOOR: you needn’t.
NAMIRA: (crying) I have to.
NOOR: Okay, Namira.
NAMIRA: (Blushing) At first day of my college I have fallen in love at first sight with one of my class mates. But I couldn’t be able to gain his attention in these two years of higher secondary school level. The boy had even no crushes for me after all my hearty attempts. But one day, in a holyday I saw him with another girl of my class to have date in the nook of the college canteen. As it was a holiday the canteen was almost vacant. Not only that I saw them cuddling and kissing each other from the outside of the canteen through the glass as I was finally leaving the place. It made me jealous. I discussed the matter with one of my best friends. She suggested me to visit a black magician with whom one of her elder brothers is acquainted to. When I visited the magician along with the elder brother of my friend he assured me that the boy for whom I had crushes would be mine and come to me being restless if I could bring him a piece of shroud of a recently dead man or ashes of someone buried very recently, better if the either was of just buried one. The magician will then give me a talisman after performing some black arts. I was so jealous and longed to have the boy so crazily that I lost my all senses to ponder on it.
NOOR: (Interrupting and showing surprise) Very interesting and a daring attempt that your heart didn’t rend even for once. Strange! I see. You are a desperado!
NAMIRA: (Blushing again) Then I went to a small graveyard and a cemetery. I could manage some wicked persons who had no ethics perhaps even to trade with dead bodies also.
NOOR: (snubbing) you’re more wicked than the persons I believe.
NAMIRA: You can say that. I won’t mind. Now I also believe so as I have regained my senses and good self. Surely I am a guilty mischievous girl.
NOOR: Then, what you did?
NAMIRA: I also became daring as anger pressured on my head. And as I have to win the game, I decided to collect both the winding sheet and the ashes so that I didn’t have to lose the boy or at least no one can win him except me.
NOOR: Okay, then?
NAMIRA: (Blushing) And the magician gave me a condition that I must have the shroud piece or the buried ashes being nude before digging burrows in the grave yard.
NOOR: You did it? Shame on you! Now I see you had really lost your all common senses.
NAMIRA: (NERVOUSLY) I heard from someone that in black art practice every performance is contradictory I mean topsy-turvy sixty nine. That’s why I believed him as a real black magician. Moreover I longed to win my love at any cost.
NOOR: Didn’t you think that the wicked persons, who gave you the opportunity in the cemetery, could do any nuisance? (PAUSE) I mean adulterate you as you’re a young lady in the darkness of night.
NAMIRA: Actually at that moment I couldn’t think anything except the boy for whom I had crushes for at least two years. I couldn’t forget the scene that he was cuddling and kissing another girl of my class avoiding my all sorts of cordial attempt to get his love. I couldn’t tolerate his flirting with another girl, who is not prettier than me in any respect.
NOOR: (REBUKING) Perhaps you’ve gone mad. Tell me in brief. In fact I don’t wish to hear all these nonsense from my cute niece. To be honest I couldn’t believe it that you can do this.
NAMIRA: (WEEPING) I beg your pardon please. Let me confess to you as you’ve saved me from this trouble and made me understand that I was in a great blunder. I performed everything as per the directions of the black magician as soon as possible in the darkness of night. But while I was wearing my clothes I felt something unusual. (PAUSE) I felt my body heavier than as usual and it was burning. It was occurring to me at that moment that `if I strip off myself then I will be lighter’. My body was trembling in fear and I had some creepy feeling. Just then I lost my whole courage perhaps you may call it to lose my improper daring or over boldness.
SFX: QUIETLY IN B/G: NAMIRA’S HASTY RUNNING, GASPING FOR BREATH AND HEART THROBBING
NAMIRA: Then I ran and ran as fast as I could, toiling on my heart until I reached to the main gate of the cremation ground. Very strange that while I was hiring a taxi I understood that my voice was changing awkwardly in every moment. I could realize that I was going down under someone’s control. I don’t know what happened after that. Uncle Noor, what happened to me last night?
NOOR: eh, yea, No nothing happened to you. Anyway how do you feel now?
SFX: PROMA AND OMERA ENTERS INTO THE LIVING ROOM
PROMA/Omera: (interrupting) Wow, Uncle and Niece are having a very nice chat we see. Perhaps you have forgotten to take your breakfast. Okay, everybody come to the dining table.
SCENE FIFTEEN INT. PROMA’S DINING ROOM. MID MORNING
SFX: PROMA AND NAMIRA ARRANGE DINING TABLE MOVING CROCKERIES, SERVING SNACKS, STIRRING COFFEE IN MUGS WITH SPOONS. EVERY BODY IS DRINKING COFFEE SITTING ON WOODEN CHAIRS, PUTTING MUG DOWN. EVERY BODY OCCASIONALLY LAUGHS IN RESPONSE OF OTHERS SAYING.
PROMA: Well, brother Noor, what will I cook for you in lunch?
NOOR: (in anxious tone) Thank you Sister Proma, I’ll have to go home.
PROMA: Brother Noor you take rest after breakfast. Beg your pardon, you’re looking very exhausted. You need to take it, I guess. And then you’ll take your lunch. Then we’ll consider your proposal to go home. What do you think Omera and Namira?
NAMIRA: I have a request that I’ll cook for Uncle Noor.
Omera: Of course. Leave some chores also for me.
PROMA: Brother Noor, Please say something.
SFX: Joyous SHOUTS among them.
Proma/Omera /NAMIRA: (AD LIB) Hurrah! You’re taking Lunch with us.
SCENE SIXTEEN INT. NEFERTITI’S LIVING ROOM. EVENING.
SFX: DOOR BELL RINGS.
NEFERTITI: (Calling out) Coming, Perhaps Children’s father has come.
SFX: NEFERTITI OPENS THE FRONT DOOR
NEFERTITI: Oh, hi, how was everything at your end. Are you okay, Khuki’s father? And how was the journey?
NOOR: Everything is okay. I’m fine. How are you and the children?
NEFERTITI: (CONCERNED) But you are looking very exhausted. Was there traffic jam on the way? Now a days whenever I switch on TV there I find a news of long traffic jam in news channel on this route because of accident or out of ordered big cargo truck. The road is too narrow to have sufficient capacity of plying vehicles. (GRUMBLING OUT) Nobody has any headache perhaps.
NOOR: Oh, Titi, not that happened you are guessing. The journey was okay and comfortable. Actually I couldn’t sleep well last night. How are the Children? Was everything okay at your end? Did you fast today?
NEFERTITI: Yea, eating bread and milk! Khuki and Foyez didn’t. The children are perhaps scared.
NOOR: What happened to them? You’re saying that they are scared.
NEFERTITI: Won’t they be scared? I was also afraid of seeing those big black steps.
NOOR: Big black steps! Oh I see she has really come here to eat! She was very hungry she said. I was just joking with her. I couldn’t believe that she could come here.
NEFERTITI: That you’re saying that those big black steps were of a woman.
NOOR: Not that I’m saying.
NEFERTITI: Was it a ghost? For God sake you leave all these performances. What ruin incurs when from your exorcism I don’t want to think in advance. But I warn you that I won’t sustain any damage to my children, I’m telling you this. And you’ll miss me forever.
NOOR : Titi, don’t worry. Perhaps, it was not a ghost. She was also claiming this again and again.
NEFERTITI: Then what was it?
NOOR: She was somebody else!